I’m so bored with the USA.
Especially the new president; Barack Obama is everywhere in the media at the moment.
Yes, he may be the most powerful man in the world and all that, but there are more important issues that we should be discussing.
There is just too much mud in Derbyshire. Where does it all come from? Audrey and I return from our walks looking like monsters from the brown lagoon;
Why do the council recycling collection men always leave an empty baked bean can and a copy of someone else’s Sunday Mail in my recycling bin?;
Why don’t Converse make a size 91/2 baseball shoe? (Their size 9s are for midgets and their size 10s are for Yetties and circus clowns.);
Why does Mr Mishri’s wife keep calling me Steve? (‘My name is Davy.’ ‘Sorry, Steve.’);
Why aren’t there more catwalk models living in the village? – why aren’t there any catwalk models living in the village?;
Why does my fool of a stepfather urinate on the toilet seat when he comes to visit and blame it on ‘the dog’? (He doesn’t do this all the time, you understand; he is usually too busy secretly rummaging through my drawers and cupboards.)
Why do all the idiot muscle men with NY beanies and white trainers around here think it necessary to own a Pit Bull-type dog?;
Why were petrol-driven model cars and fireworks ever invented?
Why do all the pretty young women in nearby Mansfield turn out to be either pole-dancers or strippers? (At least it’s easy to tell them apart: strippers can spit further.);
Why, quite simply, are there not more hours in the day?
I could go on, but I’ve just lost the will to live. Again.
Somebody ought to be doing something about these things; I think they would make interesting news items – more interesting than Barack Bloody Obama, anyway.
Allow me to be slightly negative – not like dear old Nelson who sometimes seems to be in a continuous condition of pessimism where every new disappointing thing that comes along ultimately affords him a kind of grim satisfaction – but somewhat condescending to my environment for a moment.
Oh, how I love England! – all the mud and morons and miserable weather (that’s me being slightly ironic); but sometimes I wish I could just throw all of my and Audrey’s belongings into a big suitcase and bugger off to somewhere more interesting and salubrious, like, for instance, Lyon or Baltimore or even Bruges – for a break. You know . . . sort of . . . a – holiday!
I need a holiday; or at the very least a diverting geographical experience - something new, to ‘see
how the other half live’ as my dear old mum would put it.
‘I could really do with some help – I’m a bloody pensioner.’
‘Why, what’s wrong, Reg? Are you feeling the credit crunch?’
He tried to sneer and laugh at the same time, distorting his face into a mask of comical omniscience. ‘What? Credit Crunch?’ He pronounced the phrase as if it were the most ridiculous he had ever heard. ‘Just words,’ he said finally. ‘How about this one: Cold. This winter I ‘m going to die from exposure in my own home. Can’t afford the gas – for the heating.’
‘Oh dear. What are you going to do?’
Looking at me as if I were the most idiotic individual he had ever encountered – and in many ways, I suppose I am – he grabbed my arm and began to tut. He was rolling his eyes so much I thought for a moment he was having a stroke. ‘One word,’ he announced. ‘Freeze.’
I am haunted by stupidity.
The moron who lives a few doors down from me delights the residents of our street by allowing his car alarm to go off every hour or so. This has been going on for weeks now; he seems not to care that he is annoying people – especially me – beyond normal limits. In fact, he actually seems to be rather proud of his nuisance car and its dysfunctional protection system. Worst of all, for the past few days, he has been parking his ugly Volvo directly outside my house.
‘This has got to stop,’ I told him. ‘Today.’
His reaction? He tucked a smile into his beard and said under his malty breath: ‘It’s a laugh, innit.’
I tried to explain to him that no one is finding the situation even remotely funny. I told him how close I am to smashing his car’s windscreen or smashing him in his teeth. This made him roar with laughter – so much so, in fact, that tears began streaming down his cheeks. He had assumed my threat to be an idle one or that I was perhaps joking with him.
Time stood still for me at that point. All I could hear was my heart beating like a piston-engine inside my chest and Audrey panting softly at my feet. It took all my strength not to physically attack him, not to kick him in his tiny testicles. This is what I told him: ‘You’ll be hearing from my solicitor.’
When I was sitting in front of the TV with a hot cup of tea a few minutes later, trying to calm down, I realised how ridiculous I must have sounded. I wept.
Now I feel even worse: angry, ashamed, embarrassed, pathetic and feeble.
Car alarms should be banned.
I had to catch a bus into Alfreton this morning and found myself waiting for about ninety minutes before I eventually got on one. I was so happy, I felt like bursting into song.
What annoyed me more than the actual waiting-time was the fact that I was being watched by two obese women with greasy hair and bad skin from the bedroom window of a terraced house directly opposite the bus stop. I was infuriated. They were staring directly at me and did not seem to mind that I was clearly being made to feel very uncomfortable by the unwanted attention I was receiving.
Eventually, the window was opened and one of them called out to me. ‘You’ll ‘ave a long wait, duck. Busses aren’t coming ‘round ‘ere cuss of t’roadworks down by t’market. You need to catch one outside t’church.’
They had watched me standing there for a full hour-and-a-half before one of them decided to impart to me this information. I fancy I had a slight air of sarcasm about me as I thanked them and hurried on down the hill.
I like these people, I really do, but they baffle me sometimes. They are extremely polite and will always wish you good day before mugging you, for example, but I have had several disagreeable experiences at their hands and I am beginning to suspect that they enjoy tormenting me. Their words and actions are more often than not full of absurdities the charm of which is beginning to wear quite thin.
The roadworks that have been taking place intermittently on our street for the past month have resulted in the appearance of several raised humps intended to act as traffic-calming measures.
One of these ludicrously insubstantial bulges in the road’s surface has been positioned directly outside my house. The low-frequency noise that was generated daily during its construction played havoc with my sensitive and expensive microphones in the normally well-isolated studio. I did not complain at the time, but I am convinced that the work should never have caused so much disruption or taken so long.
I have been keeping an eye on proceedings from behind the net curtains in the front bedroom and it has been obvious to me that the local council employed cerebrally compromised want-wits, hopeless trainees or apathetic and indifferent ASBO-holders instead of the professional road builders that it should have done in an effort to keep costs down.
The whole project took four weeks to complete and is as unsightly as it is ineffectual. Barely one inch high and with near-invisible yellow markings that can only be detected by keen astronomers or certain birds of prey, the speed-bump outside my front door is, in my estimation, quite useless. Vehicles going over it do not slow down or seem to pay any attention to it whatsoever. (If anything, boy-racers in their hideously customised Ford Fiestas tend to accelerate as they travel over the humps. The minor incline they provide acts as a tiny ramp allowing speeding drivers to lift off slightly and become momentarily airborne as they pass by.)
It begs the question: Why were these pointless humps ever built? And indeed: Why did it take them so long and why are they completely crap?
Local bureaucracy – it’s great.
‘Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way!’
That is what I hear about once every hour when someone calls at the house next door. My neighbour Mary has installed her special Christmas doorbell just as she did last year at this time and by the end of today I shall most likely have taken my favourite sledgehammer to it and smashed the bloody thing into little Chinese plastic smithereens.
I knew that there would inevitably be some sound isolation problems by moving the studio into the spare room but none could be more annoying than this little beauty. Ours is only a small terraced cottage and although the walls are of an old-fashioned and substantially hefty build – a good solid 18 inches of Derbyshire red brick – cheap and high-pitched electronic melodies from the Far East travel very well from one building to the next; indeed, so interminable and piercing are they that I fancy they can be heard from outer-space.
When you eventually get to hear some of the recordings that we are presently working on, listen out on some of the quieter vocal tracks for the annoyingly bleepy monotone refrain that goes: ‘Oh what fun it is to ride on a one-horse open sleigh!’
Pure f***ing festive magic.